A well-meaning story with universal appeal.

READ REVIEW

SASSIE'S NEW HOME

In Albright’s debut picture book, a mother explains the concept of heaven to her young daughter after their beloved dog dies.

Light-skinned Lanie and her small, black-and-white dog, Sassie, have always been good friends, playing together and sharing snacks. One day, Lanie’s light-skinned mom tells her that Sassie has died and gone to heaven. She describes the wonderful things that Sassie will find there, such as dog treats growing on trees. She also explains how dogs befriend people who arrive in heaven and help them navigate it. Now, Lanie’s mom says, Sassie is “helping other people who need to feel the joy and enthusiastic welcome that only a dog can provide.” That night, Lanie dreams of playing with Sassie, saying goodbye to the dog, and watching her head toward her new “job.” Albright has the mother express some truly poignant sentiments, such as “It is important…that we hold onto all those happy thoughts to help us remember her.” Other statements are somewhat puzzling, though, such as that Sassie “is SO special and loves us SO much that she ages faster than we do.” However, the book’s overall message may provide comfort to kids dealing with a pet’s death. Debut illustrator Hombs’ bright images feature engaging details, including textured trees and clouds. Youngsters will enjoy the depictions of various dogs.

A well-meaning story with universal appeal.

Pub Date: Jan. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-578-45681-2

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Albright Creative, LLC

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.

THERE'S A MONSTER IN YOUR BOOK

From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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